Getting a MacBook Pro

by Chuck Toporek

As I've mentioned in earlier blog posts, I have the oldest running PowerBook in O'Reilly. At present, I'm using a 667 MHz PowerBook G4 with 768 MB RAM -- a TiBook. Aside from a minor problem that came with the PowerBook when it arrived (the wireless antenna wire wasn't, um, wired), my O'Reilly-issued PowerBook has served me well. And despite the fact that the display cracked (due to no fault of my own, mind you), and that it's titanium casing shields all WiFi signals (which forced me to get a PCMCIA wireless card), it's been a faithful little road warrior.

I use this little silver puppy for pretty much everything I do work-wise (I have a Mac mini that I use for personal use, and a G4 tower that I keep handy as a test machine for when it comes to new OS builds), but she's starting to look her age. The paint on the outter rim is chipping off, the latch doesn't work 90% of the time, and the batteries are usable as long as I remember which one I need to swap out before it hits 30% life and just forces my machine into a safe sleep mode.

But like I said, the silver puppy's been a good machine. I use it for everything from testing applications, to writing and editing books in Microsoft Word or BBEdit, to creating graphics with Adobe's CS2 (using Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, mostly), and on occasion, playing Halo when nighttime falls and the need to de-stress is upon me. So after last week's Macworld SteveNote, I nudged our Mac sysadmin, Chris Stone, and asked what he thought the chances were of me getting one of the new MacBook Pro's. He said he'd check, I sent him a wish-list spec for the MBP of my dreams, and I left it at that.

Then yesterday, Chris pops up on iChat to let me know that a PO had been put in for me to get a MacBook Pro. Imagine that! Cool! I was so happy about that that I forgot to look at the specs he sent me, and I guess I could go dig through my iChat logs and see, but really, who cares...I'm getting a new Mac. Well, okay, not right now, but sometime next month, a new box will arrive here at my "home/office" in Portland, Oregon, and I'll soon be driving one of the new Intel-based Pros.

As such, my plan is to blog my experiences with the new MacBook Pro for the first few weeks. From opening the box and setting up the MBP, to transferring my data and reporting back on how Rosetta performs, since I have a feeling that I'll be using it quite a bit until my favorite apps are available as Universal Binaries (which could be a while). Of course, the app I'm dying to try out most on the new MacBook Pro is Aperture.

If there's something you'd like me to report on, or a particular app you'd like me to try out (and if it isn't in my arsenal of apps, please feel free to send yours along), let me know by posting a comment below. If I have the app, I'll gladly report on how it performs on the new MBP and/or under Rosetta.

So, stay tuned to this blog in February. I'll let you all know when delivery is expected, and we'll let the show run from there.

Ciao for now!

-- Chuck

Let me know what you'd like to see tested on the new MacBook Pro once it arrives...


2006-01-19 01:38:37
What do you plan to do with your old one?
How much would you sell it for if you could?
2006-01-19 09:43:49
Flash & other professional apps
Congrats on the new MacBook Pro.
I'm a web developer (also in Portland) and would love to know how Flash Pro handles under Rosetta. I have a dual 867 MDD tower and a 1.33 aluminum 12" -- so if the rosetta mode flash bested (or came close-ish) to either of these I'd be psyched, especially since I would have the reassurance that eventually it would be a lot faster once it did go universal.

Most of the time I'm in Mail/ TextMate/ CocoaMySQL/ Command Line/ Transmit and the browsers, most of which I don't think will be a problem as the smaller developers seem to be fairly on the ball so far --
Panic's Transmit, Macromates Textmate (already universal), Quicksilver, MacJournal - I imagine these will all be Universal far more quickly than the big company apps.

I'm also in photoshop quite a lot - but photoshop benchmarks are easy to find.

2006-01-19 09:44:59
re: What do you plan to do with your old one?
Since the TiBook belongs to O'Reilly, it will most likely go back to the IS department for use as a spare. However, I have asked if I can purchase this Mac from them for the going market rate, which according to eBay is ~$400-$500. If they go for it, I will most likely swap out the 30 GB hard drive for something bigger (and faster), and then continue using it as a trusty road warrior.

-- Chuck

2006-01-19 11:59:43
Rushing to meet bugs?
I'd say your IS group is being a little hasty to use you as a test case for the new hardware.

I think as a user you would be better served per purchase dollar if they spent that PO on the HD PowerBook which you know works well and all of your existing software works as well.

Unless you are the one writing a Mac intel book. ;-)

2006-01-19 19:28:30
re: What do you plan to do with your old one?
Really, $500-US? I just sold my 667ti-book to a friend for $500-NZ (about $340-US), its got 1Gb RAM & 80GbHD. Worn paint, marked screen surface, dodgy keys.. I 'upgraded' to a 1.5GHz 12" powerbook, I wanted an internal modem still and am willing to wait several/three years for the bugs to be ironed out of the Intel lineup.
2006-01-21 01:21:12
Please let us know if Photoshop CS2 is actually USABLE on the MacBook Pro (under Rosetta). Thanks
2006-01-21 04:05:43
What do you plan to do with your old one?
Shucks, that's what it's worth? :)

hmmm.... Thank you though..

2006-01-27 02:57:04
I think MacBook Pro does not run Aperture at this point.. have to wait till March for new release.
2006-04-13 11:47:25
I have a macbook pro and no, photoshop does not work on it. The rest of adobe does work. As of right now, I'm trying different versions of photoshop to see if i can work out the glich.